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Coronavirus (COVID-19): early learning and childcare services

Guidance for early learning, school aged childcare and childminder settings on reducing the risks of COVID-19.

This document is part of a collection


Wider harms of COVID-19

Contents of this page

Supporting the workforce

Staff in the childcare sector have worked incredibly hard to support children and families throughout the pandemic, under very challenging circumstances.

The following resources area available to staff to support their wellbeing:

Self-Isolation Support Grant

Self-Isolation Support Grant eligibility will remain in place until 30 June 2022. Following that, there will be a 28 day application window and the scheme will end on the 28 July 2022.

From 1 May an online tool will be available to help people identify if they are eligible for the grant, and if so, they will be eligible to book a PCR test so that they can provide evidence of COVID infection to support their application.

Eligibility criteria can be found at: Self-isolation Support Grant.

As isolation guidance evolves, we will continue to consider where targeted isolation support, including financial support, is required to support communities experiencing enduring transmission and COVID-19 related health inequalities. 

Supporting children

The pandemic has been challenging for everyone but has had a disproportionate impact on some children, families and communities. As we recover from COVID-19 settings should be confident that they are providing experiences and sensitive interactions in a variety of outdoor and indoor spaces, in ways which best support the needs of children and help to develop the resilience and wellbeing of babies, toddlers and young children.

The national practice guidance ‘Realising the Ambition: Being Me’, supported by the National Health and Social Care Standards, emphasises the crucial role that high quality early learning and childcare can play in supporting children and families and giving children the best start in life by offering a nurturing environment. This is also outlined in Space to Grow, the design guidance for early learning and childcare and out of school care settings which notes the importance of positive interactions, health and wellbeing, and supporting play and other positive experiences. This continues to be crucial as we support children and families to recover from COVID-19.

Support and guidance on supporting children’s mental health, as well as supporting children with worries about nursery or childcare is available online.

Resources are available online to support young children at points of transitions as well as guidance on transitions in the context of COVID-19.

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